cabbage display on the produce stand is not the section
of the department that gets the most action.
Cabbage is a moderate mover with many customers asking
heads.” But if the common veggie eater like yourself
knew how much cabbage you really ate, you’d be surprised.
You see, the cabbage family has many brothers, sisters,
aunts, uncles, cousins etc. The botanical term is Brassica,
is known as Mustard, which is called cruciferae or cruciferous
because the flower on the plant resembles a crucifix. It
gets pretty deep so lets cover the bare bones.
the cabbage family we find Brussels Sprouts, kale,
collards, kohlrabi, bok choy, broccoli and cauliflower.
All of which are very high in cancer fighting phytochemicals,
which are plant compounds with health-promoting qualities
such as lycopene and Indoles, along with antioxidants
such as vitamin E, vitamin C, or beta carotene, that
cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. Recent
studies show that Red Cabbage helps in the reduction of
certain plaque build ups in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s.
The Produce for Better health Foundation has told us for
several years now to not only eat 5 to 9 servings of fruit & vegetables
a day, but to mix up the colors. Well in this case it is
the pigments called anthocyanins that make up the blue,
purple and red in our fruit & veggie mix. These beneficial
compounds are significant members of the flavenoid class
of plant nutrients. 36 anthocyanins have been discovered
by Agrigultural Research Scientists (ARS) in Red Cabbage,
8 of them never detected before. Savoy cabbage contains
vitamin A and the Cabbage family as a whole contains phytochemicals
called indoles that help inhibit stomach, breast and colon
to say cruciferous vegetables make a great
portion of your
five to nine a day that we’ve been working very hard
to achieve. At the same time, we are well aware of the
fact that some of these cabbage patch kids get a bad rap,
most of which stems from the old days when folks would
boil them down in salted water ‘til they were mush.
The whole house would stink, everyone in the neighborhood
wished there was something called the EPA that they could
call, and you had this big pile of steaming hot ‘stuff” on
your plate. Well my friends, those days are long over.
Somewhere in the ‘70’s folks
started to figure out that if you lightly
still have a bit of a crunch, taste great,
stink less, and retain the nutritional content.
most of these veggies are just fine eaten
raw or even juiced.
St. Patrick’s Day close at hand, lets take
a look at the common cabbage. This is one veggie that
you either love or hate. Three common cabbages seen on
produce stand are the green round head, which by the
way, has many varieties within itself, the red or
head and the mildly crisp and tender Savoy or curly
cabbage. Don’t pass up the fresh cut packaged
section. In a large produce department you will find
several cuts of both red and green cabbage along with
a mixture of both with shredded carrots.
is a very convenient way to use cabbage because
you don’t have to buy a whole head, it’s
clean and ready to use, which means all the work
is done for you, it also fits better in the refrigerator.
for your St. Patrick’s Day Feast you have many
choices. Personally I am not a corned beef eater. I just
don’t like it, never did. So it’s just cabbage
for me. In fact I was once told by a true Irishman (that’s
a man from Ireland for those of you in the PC crowd) that
in Ireland the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal
is made up of ham or bacon, cabbage and potatoes. So corned
beef and cabbage is… well, as American as apple
Stuffed cabbage leaves are another way to have your corned
beef and cabbage, but preparing leaves for stuffing has
always been a chore. A customer at the market offered this
tip many cabbage seasons ago. Pierce the stem end of the
cabbage head with a large two prong fork and place the
entire head in a pot of boiling water holding on to the
fork. As the cabbage begins to blanche, start cutting the
leaves from the stem one by one. This softens the leaves
just enough to be able to roll up your favorite stuffing
without the cabbage breaking or tearing. Continue this
process until you get to the heart where the leaves become
too small. At that point chop the heart up into small shreds
and add it to your stuffing.
When selecting cabbage in the store, look for firm heavy
heads. The heavier the cabbage head, the more compact
it will be. The lighter the cabbage head the more puffy
and less compact it will be. A pale green color with
vibrant leaves wrapping around it are signs of a fresh
head. Keep away from yellow wrapper leaves and brown
stem butts. Round cabbage will be full green in color
while a more flattened squatty cabbage will be mostly
white with a green tinge. Red cabbage is always compact
and should be deep burgundy in color. Avoid blackened
Whatever your meal consists of don’t reserve cabbage
for just St. Patrick’s Day. Add shreds of red cabbage
to your salads or make a light coleslaw using a combo
of shredded green and red cabbage, carrots and a little
mayo or soy mayo, a teaspoon of lemon juice and a few
drops of honey.